A review: Of the judgements on the lunar nodes

Dr. Lucia Bellizia, University degree in Greek and Latin Classics (and her readers easily can notice the quality of  her education and knowledge ), President of Apotelesma and member of CieloeTerra,  publishes in English the text  of her lecture recently presented during the 10th edition of Astrological Congress sponsorized by Grazia Mirti.

About  nodes, the intersection of the Lunar orbit with the ecliptic, if we so little know of the origins-  at least we know the fortune  they had during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, especially in that peculiar branch of talismanic and electional astrology, a name for all  the Picatrix, the mysterious book compiled in the court of Alphonse the Wise, from the Arab Ghayat al-hakim.

And to another Arab astrologer – it is not a coincidence –  known as Albumasar in the West  is linked the fortune of Nodes until the late Renaissance, if even Pico della Mirandola in his famous best-seller against astrology Disputationes adversus astrologiam divinatricem, spent a chapter of  his book to discuss  about the influence of a short passage of  a minor  booklet called “Albumasar in Sadan” which evidently was not so minor….

Aby Warburg in Rome- They had computers in the beginning of 1900?
Aby Warburg in Rome- They had computers in the beginning of 1900?

Another famous Renaissance mention to the Nodes is the letter written by Pellegrino Prisciani, the astrologer of Ferrara court; its  fame is due to  Aby Warburg, who used it to decipher  the meaning of Schifanoia frescoes.  (( Aby Warburg, La Rinascita Del Paganesimo Antico Contributi Alla Storia Della Cultura. (Firenze: La Nuova Italia, 1966).  ))

Whatever tradition the Lunar Nodes belong to, it’s evident from these examples  they very soon became part of our Western astrological tradition and  Dr. Bellizia’s essay  gives us an exhaustive idea of the origins and their meaning.
Bellizia starts her analysis analyzing the lemma  in the famous astrological lexicon published in 1668 by Girolamo Vitali, still untranslated in any modern language, and after having examined the astronomical meaning of the nodes, describes the draco coelestis in the different ancient traditions.

The Celestial Dragon in Ludovicus Angulus, MS. 427
The Celestial Dragon in Ludovicus Angulus, MS. 427

The second part is  wholly dedicated to the astrological testimonies in Hellenistic, Byzantine and Arab astrology,  from Ptolemy to Ibn Ezra passing from Palchus, Rethorius and Albumasar.

Please notice  that Bellizia in her article  avoids  the awful use of mixing the Vedic terminology with Western works: there is nothing worst than seeing Rahu and Kethu popping out from Renaissance texts and among Latin words as commonly can be read in the internet, but she is another level and she shows us.

This article is simply perfect.  The English  link to her article: Of the judgements on lunar nodes.

A final mention to a special contributor, Belial the cat.

Written by Margherita Fiorello, CIDA certified member, for heaven astrolabe blog @ year 2010. If you want to be notified the next time I write something, subscribe to my RSS feed.

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